May 1st, 2023 marked TEN years of Shelby Danielle Photography! AHHHH!!
Shortly after turning 18 and not even out of high school, walking into get my business license, I hoped this little dream of mine would be real and would last… But I could not imagined how far it has taken me.
The people I have met and friendships I have formed, the life moments I have captured for so many of you, whether it was a family session or a wedding day, or anything in between. Has me so amazed that this has been my life and I am so grateful for it all.
And the fact that this business has not only supported myself over the years, but has supported my family in so many ways has me blown away when I think about it. I would not be here today, celebrating TEN years in business, if it was not for all the love, support, and encouragement over this journey!
I wanted to finally share my event that I threw for my clients, family, and friends from my celebration in April! (Full transparency: I planned for this post to be up ON my actual anniversary/ May 1st, 2023 but had technology issues and finally now posting! hahah!
Back in July of 2022, it came to mind that this upcoming May is going to be 10 years of being a business owner. I started thinking of how I would celebrate this accomplishment, but figured I wouldn’t think much more of it until closer to the date. “We need to hang out, outside of you working!” was said to me from clients at weddings&sessions. So, a random thought came to mind, “What if I throw a party?” I started dreaming up ideas and what I wanted. I ended up deciding I wanted a backyard style event. Something you would do on a gorgeous spring or summer day with your loved ones. Somewhere where you can sit, relax, and have a drink together. While we let our kids play. (Because not only do I have a family of my own now, but most of my wedding couples have their own families now and I have my yearly families I photograph) A couple months later from my initial thought and some dreaming, a phone call with my coordinator, Sarah with Concept Create Celebrate, we started planning. After months of putting it together, the day finally arrived & it was everything I hoped and more!!
During planning, I had such a hard time at times due to not how to approach this event. It wasn’t a wedding, but it wasn’t a birthday party. I kept looking up inspiration for a business celebration and all I kept seeing was a launch party or grand opening. Nothing like what I was planning. So, I hope sharing some common questions I got asked will help you, if you are a business owner and hope to throw a celebration. 🙂
“How did you know who to invite?”
Simply put: I wanted ALL my clients to be invited. This event was for them as a huge thank you!
In July 2022, I first sent an email to 700+ of my clients (thanks for CRMs or keeping track of all my clients over the years). I wanted them all to be invited, but I knew I needed a general headcount before I found a venue. So within the first email, I explained that I was going to be throwing an event in the upcoming spring. If they were interested in learning more, I had them fill out their info on postable.com. From there, I had over 300 clients put their info in. Once I got the venue, I emailed them more info as the event approached. 🙂
“How did you find the venue?”
My coordinator! She worked at another venue in the same area and recommended the location. Although she hadn’t worked there at the time, she knew it was an indoor/outdoor venue. So, I reached out, toured, and it was the perfect fit!
“How did you budget for something like this?”
I knew something like this could be as expensive as a wedding day with the headcount we could possibly have (like I mentioned above, 300 were invited!), so I set a personal goal, but I also reached out to a lot of the vendors to trade. Luckily a lot of them were willing to do a full trade, a little combo of trade/discount, or a big discount to help keep me under my goal. My main expense was the venue and that is marked as a write off 😉 But even then, the venue was so affordable for what they offer and it being a DIY venue helped a ton!
“How did you think of what to bring in?”
This brings it back to my vision. I wanted the adults AND kids to have fun. So I took time to put together activities and/or vendors that can help bring that to life. (Bar for adults, Photo Booth and lawn games for both adults and kids, play area for the little kids and babies, and then tables of activities for the other kids (coloring, play-dough, & punching balloons).
If you have any questions regarding throwing an event like this, please reach out! I didn’t have any Inspiration or anyone to ask (who has done this before), so please reach out with any questions. More than happy to help. 🙂
Anyways, enjoy some of the photos from the event & definitely check out the vendors mentioned below. They deserve all the credit, love, and business! They helped make this day AMAZING! 🙂
And thank you ALL again for helping me achieve TEN years in business! 🙂
ICE CREAM: @handelslaguna
DESSERTS & TREATS: @dipped_oc
FURNITURE RENTAL: @rusticurbanevents
SOFTPLAY RENTAL: @ohbabycosoftplay